June 10 2019
This week we continue with the theme, Grief. Companions Come in Many Forms.” I share with you now, Alan Wolfelt, Ph.D.’s 11 Tenets of Companioning the Bereaved:
Companioning is about…
- Being present to another person’s pain; it is not about taking away the pain.
- Going to the wilderness of the soul with another human being; it is not about thinking you are responsible for finding the way out.
- Honoring the spirit; it is not about focusing on the intellect.
- Listening with the heart; it is not about analyzing with the head.
- Bearing witness to the struggles of others; it is not about judging or directing these struggles.
- Walking alongside; it is not about leading.
- Discovering the gifts of sacred silence; it is not about filling up every moment with words.
- Being still; it is not about frantic movement forward.
- Respecting disorder and confusion; it is not about imposing order and logic.
- Learning from others; it is not about teaching them.
Compassionate curiosity; it is not about expertise.
Because many of us have the desire to “fix” others’ problems, these tenets may sound hard to do, but in the end they are an incredible gifts to others.